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Review: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

fullpageReview: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

Rating: 4/5

Genre: YA Romance/Contemporary/Fantasy

Publisher: Razorbill

Publish Date: April 5th 2016

Length (hardcover): 400 pages

 

Book synopsis:

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

My review:

Now, I must admit that this book first piqued my interest because of its apparent similarity to The Selection; a series I adore. I plucked it from the shelf, purchased it and quickly went home to finish reading the book I had almost completed. In the beginning, I read really quickly… then I slowed down a bit.

The first part of the book was honestly amazing. I couldn’t get enough of it. I was staying up to frightfully unreasonable hours to read it and I was positively HEARTBROKEN when it got SQUASHED! FOLDED! RUINED! In my schoolbag (I’m scarred). I was in love with the *boyfriend,* (which isn’t uncommon for me) and I found the main character’s POV interesting simply because it was different. As you can read in the synopsis, Adelaide (not her real name, by the way) is a countess posing as a poor girl so that she can escape her arranged marriage, to put it simply. But, she falls for the wrong guy, and yes – this often makes for a great story.

The plot was all going swimmingly until this one pivotal moment. I read it and I wanted to slap the book on my face and cry or scowl or both. I’m going to tell you what it was – beware this is a spoiler! They move onto the FRONTIER and gold-mine for a bit, but it turns out that this is part of an evil plan. Then, after all the turmoil and un-soft hands have been endured, our main character throws in the towel, reveals everything, and, surprise! They all live happily ever after.

The reason I gave this book 4 stars is because the beginning of it was so good! I just couldn’t bear to give it anything less than 4 seeing as I enjoyed the first part so much. However, it’s safe to say that The Glittering Court did not top the Selection for me.

Favourite quote: “You are… out of my reach.”

Did I cry: I don’t believe I did.

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Review: The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keil

IMG_4192Rating: 3.7/5

 

Genre: YA Romance/Contemporary

 

Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont

 

Publish Date: April 1st 2017

 

Length: 317 pages

 

Book synopsis:

Sophia is smart, like genius-calculator-brain smart. But there are some things no amount of genius can prepare you for, and the messiness of real life is one of them. When everything she knows is falling apart, how can she crack the puzzle of what to do with her life?
Joshua spends his time honing magic tricks and planning how to win Sophia’s heart. But when your best trick is making schoolwork disappear, how do you possibly romance a genius?

In life and love, timing is everything.

From Melissa Keil, the award-winning YA author of Life in Outer Space and The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl.

 

My (spoiler-free!) review:

I actually can’t remember how I found this book. I think I was looking on the QBD website. How I got a hold of it is a slightly more interesting (and awkward) story. I searched the shelves in the YA section (right beside the kids’ section, as ever) for a long enough time that I gave up and politely asked a shop assistant for help. She too studied the shelves and found nothing, so she sought help from a co-worker. TURNS OUT – said co-worker had set said book aside so that she could purchase it for herself. I felt very awkward purchasing The Secret Science of Magic (stealing it from the girl obliged to sell it to me) but I felt obligated to purchase it because it took a long time to find it. I also wanted to read it. ANYWAY!

I was really excited to read this book, simply because the blurb intrigued me and yes, because the cover is absolutely beautiful. I have to say that I enjoyed this book, but I didn’t love it.

One of our two main characters; Sophia, is basically a young genius. She has many social issues, including that she doesn’t like to be touched and doesn’t know how to laugh “on cue.” Her thought process involves (almost entirely) her comparing herself and things she experiences to famous scientists and other experiences currently outside of my realm of knowledge. She worries about things somewhat inconsistently, and has a best friend that is  also extremely smart but nowhere near as smart as Sophia. Sophia’s chapter names are, from what I can tell, mostly scientific theories.

Joshua, our other main character or “boyfriend,” as you might be aware I affectionately call such characters, is likeable. He’s a quirky budding magician. At school, he keeps to himself, but it is revealed to Sophia later on that he is actually a rather sociable person. His relationship with his sister is very cute, and the only main fault I have with him is that he has somehow been slightly in love with Sophia since the beginning of time (slight exaggeration). Joshua’s chapter names are mostly inspiring magician’s quotes.

In all honesty, I really didn’t like how the plot progresses in this book. If I’m remembering correctly (and yes, I have to think back because it took me a while to finish this book), I was 80 odd pages in and Sophia and Joshua had only had 2 or 3 mostly awkward encounters. The “climax,” if you can call it that, resulted in a string of unrealistic events to follow, too late in the book and too quickly resolved for my liking. I did get really sick and tired of most every bad happening “sucking *insert wild animal name* balls,” too. But, the prose and description in this book is beautiful, there were a lot of funny moments, and either Melissa Keil is a genius herself or she really did her research. Or both!

Favourite quote: “Not my fault the morons in class need six months to learn how to ask where the toilets are.”

Did I cry? Nope.

 

 

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Review: Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia

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Find this photo and similar ones on my Instagram account: @bookedinbookblog

Rating: 4/5 stars

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Publisher: Little Brown and Company

Publication Date: October 12th 2010

Length (hardcover): 503 pages

 

 

Book synopsis:

Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena’s family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan’s eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there’s no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town’s tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

 My Spoiler-free review!

After finishing Beautiful Creatures at some ungodly hour, I then (of course) proceeded to read the sequel; Beautiful Darkness. Who knows what hour I read until. It was worth it. I also must have read this book in a trillion geographical locations, because I was travelling back to New Zealand from Australia.

This book began like most sequels, reminding me of things I already knew in case I read the first book a couple of moon cycles ago. But, no – I’d just swiped to the next book. That is not a criticism. It is a very helpful thing if there was a time gap! Ethan was recapping the quaint town of Gatlin, mentioning the many old ladies (as you do). But that was sort of just a prologue! The first *proper* chapter ripped my heart out. Yep – I started crying a few minutes in. And! My tears became so much more meaningful when I came to the end of this book! It was so poignant and written so beautifully, I truly felt like I could relate even though I’ve never experienced anything remotely similar. A new character was introduced in this book, and though I was sceptical of her in the beginning, I soon grew to love her. I love how she was incorporated and made into some sort of a complication.

An interesting note is that I had no idea how far through the book I was, because the eBook had the whole series. Example: you are 34% through the entire series. How far through the book am I? Do I times this number by four? Regardless, it was kind of nice “flying blind.” Even though it mostly made me mad. Obviously I could tell when it was drawing to a close, and boy, was the close interesting! The one thing I will say disappointed me a little was the actual ending, as in, the last lines, we pretty much verbatim the previous book’s, plus one (read them and you’ll know what I mean 🙂 ) It did end in a way I was happy with, though, overall. Really happy with.

I’m taking a break from Beautiful Creatures for a little while, mainly to get through some of my TBR! I would highly recommend this book, and the one before it, of course.

Did I cry? All. The. Time.

Favourite quote: “It’s good to see you, Mr Wate.”

Honourable mention: “Still, I opened the screen door and stuck a red sticker on Lucille’s head.”

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My 2017 TBR list… so far…

The vast majority of serious bookworms have a growing pile of books that they intend to read and never quite get to the bottom of. I am no exception! I already had 10 books in my TBR list, and then… last night I bought 14 books online. FOURTEEN. So, that makes 24 books that I do or soon will own, that have a place in my ever-growing TBR list. Let’s not mention that “Want to read” list on Goodreads.

In no particular order, here is my TBR so far:

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

Beware that Girl by Teresa Toten

Lisette’s Paris Notebook by Catherine Bateson

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Blacklist by Alyson Noel

The Jewel by Amy Ewing

Cinder by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles)

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Everything Beautiful is not Ruined by Danielle Younge-Ullman

But then I Came Back by Laure

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

And Then we Ran by Katy Cannon

Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

A Court of Roses and Thorns by Sarah J. Mass

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

 

How many are on your TBR, or have you read? Which are you/were you most excited about?

 

 

 

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The Ultimate Book Tag!

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Hi there! I saw this on @Maxxesbooktopia and thought I would do it too! Comment if you agree or disagree, your thoughts, your argumentative reasoning, etc. and you should do it too!

  1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Yes. Unfortunately I cannot read in the car. I am a firm believer in ‘keep you eye on the horizon!’

  1. Which author’s writing style do you find completely unique?

I have to say that I love Kami Garcia’s writing style, but that could be because I’m reading Beautiful Creatures at the moment. I just really love how she writes. Extremely Honourable mention: Tahereh Mafi

  1. Harry Potter or The Twilight Saga?

Twilight. Irrevocably. I have always loved the series. I don’t really think ‘love’ is a strong enough word. Yes! You have discovered a Twi-hard! But no, I don’t have posters all over my room or an Edward Cullen duvet cover. I also really like Harry Potter, though! Who doesn’t?

  1. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what’s in it?

No, I don’t. I just have my school backpack ~on weekdays~ and then this somewhat oversized handbag for the rest of the time that always has a book or my kindle in it if I’m using it. I’m really conscious of taking books to school though because I’m scared they’ll get ruined in my backpack!

  1. Do you smell your books?

Yes. Don’t we all?

  1. Do you prefer books with or without illustrations?

Without, most often, but it does depend on the book. Everyone likes a nice doodle beside chapter headings.

  1. What book did you love while reading but discover later on that it wasn’t quality writing?

I’m not sure. Nothing comes to mind.

  1. What is the thinnest book on your shelf?

O Frabjous Day! by Lewis Carroll – a poetry book.

  1. What is the thickest book on your shelf?

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and, no, I most certainly have not read all of it. Yet (Glances nervously at TBR pile…).

  1. When did you get into reading?

I have always been a reader. I was always that kid astounded that her classmates find reading a chore.

  1. Do you write as well as you read?

This is a difficult question. I love to write, but reading is so much easier. THE WORDS ARE ALREADY THERE! PLOT HOLES HAVE BEEN RECTIFIED FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT (hopefully). I procrastinate writing by reading. Slightly ironic? My friend Abi is always asking me to write and that’s good because I don’t think I’d ever finish a novel otherwise. At least not in this stage of life! I don’t think I could be an author full-time, but I’m considering going into editing.

  1. What is your favourite classic book?

If you count Romeo and Juliet, then that, but otherwise I must admit classics aren’t my thing. I’ve tried to read a bunch of them and given up.

  1. What is your best subject in school?

English.

  1. If you were given a book that you had read before and hated, what would you do?

Thank the person graciously and place it in an unobtrusive spot on my bookshelf.

  1. What is your favourite word?

TOUGH QUESTION. I love words. I think ‘circumlocution’ would have to be my favourite, though (The use of many words where fewer would do, especially in an attempt to be vague or evasive (no I did not look that up)).

  1. Are you a nerd, dork or dweeb?

A nerd, I think.

  1. Vampires or fairies? Why?

Vampires! I just love vampires. Modern-day, maybe-sparkle-in-the-sun vampires. Not creepy ones. *This could stem solely from my adoration for The Twilight Saga and my love for The Vampire Diaries.

  1. What is a bad habit (besides rambling) that you always do while blogging?

I kind of just started here! I’m not sure of my bad habits yet… maybe constantly checking my notifications.

  1. Shapeshifters or angels? Why?

To be perfectly honest I don’t have that much experience with either ~mythical~ being. I really liked Jace from The Mortal Instruments, and he had angel blood, right… does that count? Jacob from Twilight was technically a shapeshifter, so let’s just say I don’t pick a side here.

  1. Last but not least: Full-on romance books or action-packed with a view love scenes mixed in?

Depends on my mood, I suppose. I like both.

The End! *cue dramatic outtro*

 

 

 

 

Book reviews · Uncategorized

Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

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Rating: 4.9/5 stars

Genre: contemporary/romance

Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: June 14th 2012

Length (hardcover): 394 Pages

Book Synopsis:

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

My Review:

I have quite a story for how I came across this book! I had found it on Goodreads approximately 36781 times, thought, ‘Perfect!’ and searched for it on the Kindle store, only to find there is only a Spanish version?! Have I not looked hard enough? So, I left it to collect dust in my to-read list. Until! One day, in one of my many favourite bookstores, there it was! My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I grabbed it, of course. Beautiful cover, too.

So! I fell in love with this book a few pages in. I love the circumstances under which the “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” (as I affectionately name them) meet. *Spoilers ahead!* They’ve lived next door to each other for many years, Samantha (our “girlfriend) secretly spies on the Garretts (our “boyfriend’s” sizeable and extremely lovable family), out of sheer curiosity and no, I don’t think it’s creepy! Then, one night, Jase (“boyfriend”) just hops up there onto her balcony. The beginning begun!

The relationship between the two of them is adorable. It’s raw. So real! The plot twist in this book is creative. I did not see it coming, and I’m pretty sure I audibly gasped upon reading it, and earned myself some sideways glances from unsuspecting strangers. The internal struggle that Samantha faces is incredibly well-written. She fits right in with Jase’s family, but he’s a secret from hers. Too often I feel like adult authors forget what it was like to be a teenager. I know; we don’t have to pay bills or look after tiny humans but everything is relative! Huntley Fitzpatrick seems to understand. I think she portrays Samantha, Jase, and all of the other teenagers perfectly. And the setting! So vivid! I could hear the wind. And the young children (namely George)? How adorable they are? And hilarious? Oh, if only all children were like the Garretts. I’m going to be honest here; kids aren’t really my cup of tea in real life, but I always seem to ADORE them in books. You?

Read this book. Please. Scour bookstores across the globe. Hopefully you can find a copy. Hey, maybe you speak Spanish? That works. Or you could buy it online. That works too.

Favourite quote:

“You have to kiss me,” I find myself saying.

“Yeah.” He leans closer. “I do.”

Did I cry? Definitely.